by Madison V. Fisler
May 5, 2014. On Saturday, May 3 at Kidd Brewer Stadium at Appalachian State University, hundreds of girls hit the pavement with their running buddies to begin the annual ZAP Fitness 5K run for Girls on the Run and Girls on Track of the High Country.
The girls gathered with their teams around 10 a.m., with the assembly and the run officially beginning at 10:30 a.m. Starting inside the stadium, the girls and their running buddies took a lap around the stadium’s track before heading out to run 5 kilometers around Boone, finally finishing back up at the stadium.
Started in 2009, Girls on the Run of the High Country serves girls of Watauga, Wilkes,Ashe and Avery counties with a positive youth development program for girls grades 3-8. It all begins with the girls taking part in a 24-lesson series of after school programs, where they not only train for the 5K, but also learn valuable lessons about self worth, self esteem, friendship and the full development of girls including physical, mental, emotional and social development and well being.
Volunteers from all around the High Country, from university students, to teachers, to community volunteers come together each year to make this event a success as the culmination of the entire season of Girls on the Run and Girls on Track.
Before the start of the race, each girl gets a running bib that all say “1” to signify that every girl is special and that nobody loses the race. The girls did a dance warm up and had a chance to color their hair to show their spirit in the creative area.
After each runner and her running buddy crossed the finish line, they received a medal and cheers from spectators and all the girls who already finished.
After the race, guests, runners and spectators celebrated with frozen yogurt from Menchies, bagels and hot chocolate from Panera and fruit and water from EarthFare.
If you didn’t get a chance to catch the race, check out these photos.
Photos by Ken Ketchie